Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Want My Attention on Facebook? Post a Picture on Friday Morning

Brands are flocking to Facebook because their users are flocking to Facebook. But the more crowded it gets, the harder it is to get people’s attention. Some tips on how to stand out: Use a picture, not a video. And put it up on Friday morning.

That’s the conclusion from a new study from Vitrue, a social media marketing shop. Vitrue looked at engagement rates–”likes,” comments, etc.–for posts published via consumer brands’ “fan pages” and found that:

  • Posts with images get clicked on 22 percent more often than video posts, and 54 percent more often than text-only posts.
  • Posts published before noon get clicked on 65 percent more often than those published later.
  • Posts published on Friday do best; weekends are the worst.

You can do some dot-connecting using Vitrue’s data if you feel like it. Perhaps the reason that images do better than video is that clicking on a clip takes more commitment from a Facebooker than simply looking at a picture. Or perhaps it’s because lots of Facebook activity happens on mobile devices like Apple’s iPhone (AAPL), and Facebook video has all sorts of issues on phones.

But note that a lot of this data varies depending on who is doing the posting: Consumer-packaged-goods guys like P&G, for instance, are least effective when they publish stuff on Wednesdays.

But McDonalds (MCD), Subway, Starbucks (SBUX) and other “quick serve” restaurants do best on Wednesdays. Vitrue figures this is because Facebookers are most interested in rewarding themselves with a meal out on “hump day.”

And if you don’t like this data, you can always find another set of numbers that may suit you a bit better. Like social marketing consultant Dan Zarrella’s work, which contends that Facebookers are more likely to share stories and stuff on the weekends.

And speaking of video, here I am chatting about this very story on WSJ.com’s Digits from Tuesday afternoon:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus